Rathdowney fire station in Laois
A Laois town's fire station is too small to fit the fire engine allocated to it, but no new building is planned.
Rathdowney and also Stradbally fire stations need to be in a Government plan says Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley.
“New fire stations for Rathdowney and Stradbally are badly needed and need to be included for capital funding. The Government’s Capital Programme included €61M for 6 new fire stations and upgrade works on 21 others. However, in reply to my Dáil question to Minister Darragh O’Brien, he has confirmed to me that neither Rathdowney or Stradbally are included in for funding in the 5year programme.’’
“The need for a new Rathdowney fire station has been raised for years. The current building is too small for the new fire tender that has been provided for the area and changing facilities are inadequate.
"Stradbally is also in need of a new station as the current building is outdated and in a similar condition. Laois County Council has now advertised the “part 8’’ for planning permission for the new building and this is welcome. However a new building cannot be provided without funding.
"Suitable sites have been secured in Rathdowney and Stradbally to locate new stations on. So Laois County Council have done all the necessary preparation to work.
“The fire service is important in both of these town as they service large catchment areas. Stradbally fire service covers an area that extends into Athy and Graiguecullen in Carlow. In the case of Rathdowney it takes in an area down to the Tipperary/ Offaly border.
"The importance of each of the brigades they require cannot be overstated given the important roll they have in attending fires, but also accidents and acting as first responders," Dep Stanley said.
There are eight fire stations serving Laois County Fire & Rescue Service.
Mountmellick Fire station is about to get a €150,000 upgrade including a training tower, while the fire service is soon taking delivery of a new €140,000 water tanker serving the county.
The service attended 332 callouts this year, up to mid September 2021.
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